ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has proposed realigning some deer hunting boundaries to reduce the possibility of infecting moose with deer-borne parasites and diseases.
In a news release, the agency said it wants to re-align some deer hunting boundaries in northeastern Minnesota in an effort to promote better health for moose and increase the number of deer in areas adjacent to the moose range.READ MORE: Hastings Community Rallies In Support Of Child Outed As Transgender As Part Of School Board Election
“Aligning deer permit area boundaries to the known moose range is part of the DNR’s strategy to promote the health of moose populations in northeastern Minnesota,” said Adam Murkowski, big game program leader for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “The nice thing for deer hunters and wildlife watchers is this proposal also allows for growth in deer herds outside the moose range where more deer on the landscape won’t negatively affect moose.”
Preliminary research findings in Minnesota suggest that parasites, including brainworm transmitted by deer, are a contributing factor in a substantial number of deaths among moose collared in the agency’s adult moose mortality research project. Brainworm, which is carried by deer but doesn’t affect their health, is fatal to moose and has long been suspected to be one of the contributing factors in the moose population decline in Minnesota.
“In response to the moose population decline, Minnesota’s moose management plan requires us to manage for lower deer densities in the moose range,” Murkowski said. “Fewer deer in the moose range minimizes the risk of parasites or disease spread by deer that harm or kill moose.”READ MORE: Some Winter Equipment In Short Supply As Snowfall Heads For Minnesota
In 2010, the agency made adjustments to deer hunting boundaries in the northern part of Minnesota’s moose range in response to recommendations from its moose advisory committee, but it didn’t adjust deer hunting boundaries in the southern portion of the moose range.
The state Department of Natural Resources plans to release additional details and information about the proposal Friday on its website.
Online comments on the proposal can be submitted beginning Friday and until March 13. The online comments will factor in to the agency’s decision whether to move forward with the proposal.
The proposal could go into effect for this fall’s 2016 deer hunting season.MORE NEWS: How Minnesotans Can 'Winterize' Their Vehicles For Winter Driving
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